Halloween is right around the corner, and it’s the time of year again to start wondering what, or who, you’ll be dressing up as come the 31st. And this year, we’re turning to TikTok for inspiration. The #halloweencostume2021 hashtag has almost 90 million views on the platform, so there are plenty of stylish and sustainable costume ideas to choose from (perhaps too many). Luckily, we did the work for you. From timely pop culture references to timeless fashion icons, we’ve rounded up the best costume ideas we’re stealing from TikTok.
Ahead, all the Halloween inspiration for this year’s costume that you can easily recreate using your own wardrobe or with some creative thrifting.
The Timely Reference: Squid Game
Squid Game has taken the world by storm since its release a few weeks ago on Netflix. Clearly, it’ll be one of this year’s most popular costumes (the hold it has on us), with plenty of characters to choose from the show. The participants’ dark-green tracksuits may be the most obvious costume choice, but you can also look at other characters for inspiration.
The giant doll from the “Red Light, Green Light” is an unexpected take on the streaming juggernaut. Just throw an orange dress over a yellow t-shirt, and you’re pretty much there. The mysterious soldiers are also full of costume possibilities. You’ll need a red or pink outfit with a black facemask, and you can customize the ensemble with one of the show’s symbols: a circle, square, or triangle (but choose your team wisely).
You can also go with an all-black look to channel the game leader or choose to dress like Gong Yoo with a suit and tie. In terms of accessories, fake blood is very on theme for Squid Game-inspired costumes. Biscuits with the shapes of the second game or blue and red paper squares can also be fun accessories to these costumes.
The Vintage Look: Fashion Through the Decades
Channeling a decade’s fashion is an affordable option that will allow you to pair together items from your closet and give you an excuse to hit your local thrift store. If you’re a lover of anything fashion, this idea is the perfect opportunity to express your creativity.
You can choose to go all-out with accessories (not to mention hair and makeup) or stick to something simple. It’s also a good option for a group costume, with each person channeling a different decade. For the ’60s, think mini skirts, tall boots, and beehive hair. To channel the ’70s, denim, flares, bright colors, and funky patterns will do the trick. And, shoulder pads, fishnets, and pearls can be a fun way to honor the ’80s (Working Girl comes to mind). With the decade looming large as inspiration for current trends, you can probably find a ’90s costume in your existing wardrobe. Think streetwear, flannels, and baggy denim. There are also plenty of options to channel the 2000s Y2K by wearing pink, icy blue, or clear-colored sunglasses.
The Last-Minute Costume: Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
If you’re scrambling to find a last-minute idea or just want something chic and simple, channeling Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly is a great (and stylish) option. You’ll only need an oversized white button-down shirt, a blue eye mask, a champagne glass or a mug, and voila!
The Best of Pop Culture: Cruella, Beth Harmon, Paula and Olivia, Doja Cat and Saweetie
These past months have brought us a multitude of movies and tv shows with iconic and easily identifiable characters. Cruella is a great idea if you want to go dark with your costume. A black and white wig can be paired with any outfit, from a long spotted coat like in the cartoon (although faux fur is encouraged) to a bright red cocktail dress like in the Emma Stone prequel.
Beth Harmon from the Queen’s Gambit only needs a few ’60s pieces and a strong cateye and red lip. Think pencil skirts, turtle necks, or bow dresses. Her signature red-hair wig and a chessboard are great props to make this outfit easily identifiable.
If you are looking for an outfit to recreate with your bestie, channeling Paula and Olivia from White Lotus is fairly easy. Just pick an obscure read, some sunglasses, and a few beachy pieces from your wardrobe.
Doja Cat and Saweetie from the “Best Friend” music video is another idea if you’re looking for Y2K-inspired outfits, with a special mention to their sheer pastel pink and green looks.
A TikTok Favorite: Jennifer’s Body
Although Jennifer’s Body was a box-office flop when it debuted in 2009, the movie has become a cult classic thanks to its rise on social media in recent years. This success, as well as fashion being an integral part of the movie, make it a popular Halloween costume on TikTok.
You can choose to recreate Jennifer’s iconic prom dress by wearing a long white gown and white elbow-length gloves. You can also go for her white puffer jacket look, matching it with a denim mini skirt and red fishnet stockings.
Her “valentine” outfit is another look that has been popular on the app. Pair skinny low-waisted blue jeans with a cropped pink hoodie with heart shapes and accessorize with her signature heart-shaped earrings.
Obviously, if you do choose to channel Jennifer, the more fake blood, the better.
The Retrofuturist Classic: Fembot
The Fembot is an archetypal retrofuturist character. The word, coined on the 1976 TV show The Bionic Woman, is also an expected hit costume on TikTok. Today, the most popular representation of Fembot is from Austin Powers. That particular version is a figure of hyper-femininity and 1960s style and beauty.
Ariana Grande also channeled the character in her music video for 34 + 35. Ariana’s version can be adapted to be more or less daring, depending on what you feel most comfortable with. A bodysuit can be worn under a gown and shorts can be swapped for a pair of leggings. You can also choose a color other than pink such as silver, green, blue, or any other color you may prefer.
The Best Duos: Paris and Kim, Cher and Dionne, Romy and Michelle, Blair and Serena, Britney and Justin, Jlo and Diddy
If you’re looking for costume ideas to wear as a duo, look no further. You can channel Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian iconic’s gold and silver look by wearing early 2000s clothes and matching them with gold and silver bags.
Cher and Dionne in Clueless can easily be recreated with a bit of ’90s plaid (we recommend a matching set, but a cropped cardigan works as well).
Another ode to the classic teen comedy, Romy and Michele, is an ideal best friend pick. We recommend shiny blue and pink dresses as a reference to their prom outfits.
Blair and Serena are also Halloween favorites, but these two are more relevant than ever, with the Gossip Girl reboot debuting over the summer. Think: headbands, tennis skirts, uniforms, and loafers. There are plenty of preppy outfits you can choose from to channel the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.
If you are looking for a couple’s costume, Britney and Justin’s denim-on-denim outfits at the 2001 American Music Awards and Jennifer Lopez and Diddy’s all-white look at the 2000s VMAs are iconic, fashionable, and a guaranteed conversation starter.